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Old 10-30-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

At 52k miles we are experiencing brake problems on long, steep (8%) grades. At about 2/3's of the way down the brakes begin to shudder and this gets more violent as the brakes get hotter. I'm hearing on other forums that this is a characteristic of the stock brakes on the mid-2000 Chevy van 3500. My question is, does anyone on this forum have recommendations for rotor and pad replacements? I've looked at the Power Stop brand on the internet and the NAPA offerings, but I have no clue what will work the best for the money. Any ideas??

Neal 05C210P "Daisy II"
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

Looks like some answers here: http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuse ... 528349.cfm
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

Might check out Roadtrek Owner's Group, that was a big discussion about two months ago. I think one Trekker changed out to something he found on the net and he gave a good rating to it. Safe travels.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

I've decided to go with Raybestos "Premium - Advanced Technology" rotors and NAPA "Severe Duty" semi-metallic pads. I'll post how they have worked when I get them on and have gone down my first 7%+ mountain grade.

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

Please do. I usually get mine serviced before we head any where near the Rockies. It's expensive,
but as you say, it's better than having to deal with the moans and groans when you're headed downhill
out there. I try a combination of downshifting and light, repetitive, braking to reduce the heat buildup.
There was a similar discussion on the Yahoo Roadtrek Group in the last 6 months, but I couldn't track down
the archived files on it. Some people had tried 3rd party heavier duty brake parts, including vented discs
and some sort of synthetic pads, I believe.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brake Problem - RT 05C210P

Brakes are usually the limiting factors for determining GVW. Usually the maximum axle load will be higher than the max posted limit in the owners manual.

When our RT's are fully loaded for a trip, they are nearly at the posted GVW (9600 lbs). This really means the brakes are nearly maxed out too.

It would be great, if we could source a set of front brakes, designed for the higher GVW van.

I installed a set of Silverado knuckles on my van for a while and the van brakes did mount to them, with a .40" spacer to line up the rotor and caliper. The 2006-2007 Silverado 3500 HD has a GVW of 11,400 lbs (1,800 over the the van GVW). I wonder if the factory Silverado parts would bolt on to our vehicles, and improve the braking capacity? Or are they already the same parts?
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:05 PM   #7
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Shared from another RV Forum: Interstate Highways: I-70 Westbound Vail Pass: 7% for 8 miles I-5 Northbound Grapevine: 6% for 5 miles (lost my brakes on this one once) I-5 Northbound Siskiyou Summit: 6% for 7 miles (cooked my brakes on this one as well) I-24 Eastbound Monteagle: 6% for 4 miles I-80 Westbound into Salt Lake: Up to 6% for 10 miles I-80 Westbound Donner Summit: Up to 6% with upgrades/downgrades for 40 miles. Not a fun drive when chains are required. I-15 Southbound Cajon Summit: Initial Grade is 6% for 4 miles, then flattens out a bit. Total length of the grade is 12 miles. I-15 Northbound Mountain Pass Towards Las Vegas: 6% for 10 miles I-17 Southbound leaving Flagstaff: 6% for 13 miles I-580 Westbound Altamont Pass: 6-8% for about 3 miles. Not a long grade but steep with heavy traffic volumes. Brake Check Areas for Trucks in both directions. There are a lot of other steep downgrades but these are some of the more notable ones that I've driven. Non-Interstate Highways: CA Hwy. 108 Sonora Pass: 26% for a brief stretch-Highway is closed during the winter. Not recommended for vehicles over 25 ft. in length. Narrow road with sharp curves. CA Hwy. 4 Ebbetts Pass: 24% Grades-Highway is closed during the winter. They are not kidding when they say "Vehicles over 25 ft. Not Advised." It is a one and a half lane road with no center line and not much of a shoulder. CA Hwy. 330 Heading towards Redlands: 6% for 13-15 miles. You will drop from over 6,000 ft. in elevation down to less than 2,000 ft. in elevation. CA Hwy. 89 Southbound Monitor Pass: 6% for 10 miles-Highway is closed during the winter. US 395 Southbound Sherwin Summit: 6% Grade for 8 miles. Relatively straight and easy to drive but they still restrict trucks to 35 mph. US 50 Eastbound Spooner Summit: 6% Grade for 7 miles heading into Carson City. CA Hwy. 18 Westbound/Northbound Leaving Big Bear Lake Area: 8-16% Grades for 8 miles with switchback curves. Not a good road for trucks/trailers/RV's. US 50 Echo Summit to Folsom: A lot of Upgrades/Downgrades with sharp curves near the summit. Most downgrades are short but are as steep as 7%. Traffic volumes can be heavy from Placerville down to Folsom. OR Hwy. 58 Westbound Willamette Pass: 6% for 5 miles with curves. There is a runaway truck ramp on this one.

Read more: https://www.city-data.com/forum/trav...teepest-6.html
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:34 PM   #8
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I had this problem about 6years ago on my 2008C210P. My Chevrolet truck dealer gave me 2 choices: stock pads and rotors for $600 or heavy duty (ambulance) grade for $900. I elected the heavy duty and have not had a problem in 60,000 miles since, including: Loveland pass, Vail Pass, Tennessee Pass, Lizzard Head Pass in Colorado, 9% roads in West Virginia…in other words, lots of hills and no problems whatsoever. Remember to judiciously shift down!
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Old 08-09-2022, 03:05 AM   #9
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It's also worthwhile to change out the brake flex hoses, they can weaken over the many years and pinch off brake flow. And flush the brake fluids every couple years.
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Old 08-09-2022, 12:52 PM   #10
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There are a lot of discussions on this forum about this topic so a search for them might help out.


Bottom line is that the issue has been tracked down to the use of ceramic pads by GM in the heavy vans. They are not a very good choice for heavy vehicles in general. It has to do with the material transfer to the rotor to give a surface that heats evenly to prevent distortion at high temps, but no need to understand that completely.


We have seen good results from several combos of pads and rotors. The most important is to get top end semi metallic light truck brake pads. Personally, I like the Hawk Performance ones, which we and several others on this forum use. Others have used Raybestos, Bendix, and other good brands. They are often called police, ambulance, super duty, extreme duty, or other terms and will be considerably more expensive the the lowest price semi metallic pads.


The latest information would indicate that the rotor selection is not as critical as once thought, with even OEM GM rotors working well. Any high end, not drilled or slotted, will work well with good pads.


Of course, any combo can be made to fail if you get them hot enough so you need to drive to protect them by downshifing and not riding the pedal on steep declines, but with a good combo you will not get juddering pulsations and just start lose braking power once they get even hotter.



Keeping the brake fluid clean, and preferably Dot4, will keep the fluid from boiling at too low a point. If the fluid boils, the braking goes away nearly completely and that is not where you want to be on a steep downhill.


The brake juddering is a relatively easy, although not real inexpensive, fix based on what we have seen in results from actual users on this and the Yahoo forums.
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Old 08-09-2022, 02:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I like the Hawk Performance



You ( again) have done all the work- thanks.


Which of the Hawk compounds did you use ?

LTS ?

I am not familiar with their product lines.


Thanks
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Old 08-09-2022, 05:14 PM   #12
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Yes the LTS.


Hawk now also has a high performance ceramic that I put in 96 Buick Roadmaster wagon that came stock with semi metallic that mess up the front wheels badly. They are really good for ceramic and feel nearly like the semi metallic. I contacted Hawk and asked it they could be substitute for the LTS and they said no with the 9600# van as the semi metallic handle the very high heat levels better. The Buick only is in 5200# range.
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Old 08-09-2022, 05:27 PM   #13
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Thanks- under $100 at Amazon




I've had stellar service from the ceramics on my 2001 sierra- still on the original pads at 175,000 miles


but the van could be problematic- even with controlling speed and downshifting
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:03 PM   #14
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Thanks- under $100 at Amazon




I've had stellar service from the ceramics on my 2001 sierra- still on the original pads at 175,000 miles


but the van could be problematic- even with controlling speed and downshifting
When I put the Hawks on my RT 210 the van braked so much better. The OEM pads must be very hard to last as long as they do. Mine looked hardly worn at 50k miles when I changed to the Hawks. I assume that "hardness" adversely affected braking performance.
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Old 08-10-2022, 01:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by WaterDaisy View Post
I've decided to go with Raybestos "Premium - Advanced Technology" rotors and NAPA "Severe Duty" semi-metallic pads. I'll post how they have worked when I get them on and have gone down my first 7%+ mountain grade.

Neal 05C210P "Daisy II"
The Hawk pads are very good, but I thought I'd give some feedback on your selection. I have the same rotors with Raybestos severe duty semi/m on our 2011 210P. I'm thinking that the NAPA and Raybestos pads may be the same thing. We've been on some steep grades, with careful use of transmission and brakes we've had no troubles. Brake dust has been what I expected, just a noticeable light coating on the rims after a 3k road trip.

We're making a rambling road trip into NM then to AZ up to UT, CO and WY in Sept. so I expect further brake testing will occur.

I would suggest that the brake system be flushed whenever you do a brake job and on an 05 new brake hoses are a good idea after 15+ years.
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Old 08-10-2022, 08:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
There are a lot of discussions on this forum about this topic so a search for them might help out.


Bottom line is that the issue has been tracked down to the use of ceramic pads by GM in the heavy vans. They are not a very good choice for heavy vehicles in general. It has to do with the material transfer to the rotor to give a surface that heats evenly to prevent distortion at high temps, but no need to understand that completely.


We have seen good results from several combos of pads and rotors. The most important is to get top end semi metallic light truck brake pads. Personally, I like the Hawk Performance ones, which we and several others on this forum use. Others have used Raybestos, Bendix, and other good brands. They are often called police, ambulance, super duty, extreme duty, or other terms and will be considerably more expensive the the lowest price semi metallic pads.


The latest information would indicate that the rotor selection is not as critical as once thought, with even OEM GM rotors working well. Any high end, not drilled or slotted, will work well with good pads.


Of course, any combo can be made to fail if you get them hot enough so you need to drive to protect them by downshifing and not riding the pedal on steep declines, but with a good combo you will not get juddering pulsations and just start lose braking power once they get even hotter.



Keeping the brake fluid clean, and preferably Dot4, will keep the fluid from boiling at too low a point. If the fluid boils, the braking goes away nearly completely and that is not where you want to be on a steep downhill.


The brake juddering is a relatively easy, although not real inexpensive, fix based on what we have seen in results from actual users on this and the Yahoo forums.
Good write up Booster.

I knew the Hawk name from autocross but didnít know they made pads for, ehem, less sporty vehicles. And interesting what they told you about semi metallic being better for higher heat. How was the fit, any pad shift?
Might try them.

As far as the rotors Iíve had the best luck on other vehicles with OE (GM has quite a few US made) and by the US based company Centric. Centric also has good reman calipers (compared to a lot of the parts store junk). Centric is a top rotor choice in the Miata world (a completely different animal I know).
Napa and Advanced have some good higher end rotors that I would consider high mid grade. Napaís ďultra premiumĒ can be near OE quality in some applications and a decent choice.

Hub runout is good to check on these big boys. And you can sometimes rotate the rotor around on the studs to get a more favorable reading before resorting to rotor shims.
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Old 08-10-2022, 08:47 PM   #17
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Good write up Booster.

I knew the Hawk name from autocross but didn’t know they made pads for, ehem, less sporty vehicles. And interesting what they told you about semi metallic being better for higher heat. How was the fit, any pad shift?
Might try them.

As far as the rotors I’ve had the best luck on other vehicles with OE (GM has quite a few US made) and by the US based company Centric. Centric also has good reman calipers (compared to a lot of the parts store junk). Centric is a top rotor choice in the Miata world (a completely different animal I know).
Napa and Advanced have some good higher end rotors that I would consider high mid grade. Napa’s “ultra premium” can be near OE quality in some applications and a decent choice.

Hub runout is good to check on these big boys. And you can sometimes rotate the rotor around on the studs to get a more favorable reading before resorting to rotor shims.

When I was getting ready to try to address the juddering, I contacted all the major brands of brakes manufacturers and many of the high performance pad ones. They all said semi metallic would be better than the ceramics, even their own ceramics. Hawk was exceptionally helpful. I got a contact with one of the test techs who was very knowledgeable. They actually have brake dyno to test this stuff. It has mainly to do with the brake pads transferring an even coating to the rotor that they call the transfer layer. A uniform transfer layer means uniform braking and no hot spots to distort the rotor. That is why the rotor itself is not as critical as the pad choice, we have learned.


The front unitized hubs seem to not have runout issues if they are not rusty, but the rear axles, both semi and full floating probably will be a bit high. Good quality rotors are very true for runout from top suppliers so indexing the rotor doesn't help as much as it does with cheapo rotors or in the old days. You can still get tapered shims though to fix the issue. I have shims in both sides of our full floater, even with brand new hubs and bearing from GM.


The fit on the pads was just fine with on issues on our van. The only issue that I have heard of was some rusting on the pad material rivets that let the shim get loose, so you might want to use some super high temp silicone over the rivets on the shim side, as they are recessed enough to do that. When I last checked ours, we had no rust, but I siliconed them anyway. We don't drive in the salt nor does our van sit outside in the snow, so we have no rust anywhere.
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Old 08-10-2022, 11:02 PM   #18
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A note to all of this that is probably worth stating.


As mentioned, the transfer layer of pad material is critical to stop pulsing.


To get the transfer layer in place, you need bare metal rotors that are either new or sanded to remove all old material on them. You also need new or sanded pads so they will bite will with fresh material showing.


You also need to do the recommended break in procedure, which is usually a series of progressively faster hard stops without coming to a complete stop. When you can just start to smell hot brakes is a good indicator of being done, I have found. Once done don't stop until the brakes are cooled back down or they will imprint. Same is true at the bottom of a mountain road, so the brake temp check stations they have sometime are not really good idea to stop everybody and risk imprinting the brakes.


We had a member here recently that had juddering, even with good pads, that started well into the life of the pads. He was able to fix the problem simply by sanding the rotors and pads and doing a break in procedure. It is suspected that lots of very light braking and sitting may have contributed to transfer layer not being cleaned and refreshed by the pads during harder stops.
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:17 AM   #19
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Thanks. Learning a lot, now about brakes. With upcoming front end work I order front pads earlier today before reading the latest contributions to this thread. I bought AC Delco semi metallic after seeing a AC Delco comparison graph between organic, semi metallic and ceramic pads. Semi Metallic had 3 stars for stopping compared to 2 stars for ceramic. I'll definitely follow the break-in advice. As an old floorman I am curious to the grit that is recommended for sanding the rotors. Thanks
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:29 AM   #20
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Thanks. Learning a lot, now about brakes. With upcoming front end work I order front pads earlier today before reading the latest contributions to this thread. I bought AC Delco semi metallic after seeing a AC Delco comparison graph between organic, semi metallic and ceramic pads. Semi Metallic had 3 stars for stopping compared to 2 stars for ceramic. I'll definitely follow the break-in advice. As an old floorman I am curious to the grit that is recommended for sanding the rotors. Thanks

If I am sanding old rotors that have some material on them and maybe some rust also, I generally use about an 80 grit on good flat block. I have also used similar 3M Roloc discs on my small right angle air grinder if it just needs a good clean of but isn't really bad. A small electric electric palm sander also works well. No belt or large disc sanders as they are really tough to control on the narrow surface without gouging.


Did you order their police or ambulance level of pads? They make some that are also more suited to lighter duty also, which you wouldn't want.
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